I had it all planned out. Before I was even accepted into an MBA program I knew that I would be taking the summer off prior to starting classes in the fall. After working for nearly a decade and not really having a summer vacation since 1998 (summer before freshman year of college), I felt that I was due for two months of sleeping til noon, lazing around the house, traveling abroad for weeks on end, and living rent free at my parents' house while depleting the contents of their fridge. I had been saving for over a year so I figured I could afford to blow my annual bonus on trips and the minimal living expenses of a cell phone bill and Netflix account, thus reserving my cash reserves for the school year. My plan was foolproof.
Monday, May 28, 2012
Friday, May 25, 2012
I was struggling. As everyone around me carried on non-stop conversation I fought to keep my eyes open and my head from falling into the plate of eggs and French toast in front of me. I tried to engage with the woman sitting next to me, asking questions in the hopes of invigorating my mind for a few more minutes. The effort was painful. My body physically ached for sleep. Alas, my love of free food had led me to abandon the rest I desperately needed and now politeness anchored me to my seat for at least another ten minutes. I doubted I would make it that long.
Saturday, May 12, 2012
In the last few weeks at least half a dozen threads have popped up on the MBA forums with different variations of the same theme. School X vs School Y. Having been in this predicament myself I find myself drawn to these threads. They are particularly interesting when School X is ranked higher than School Y, but School Y is offering money while School X is offering less or none. These threads inevitably come down to the "age old" question of rank vs. money.
Wednesday, May 02, 2012
I am psyching myself up. I am finding my motivation. I am getting my mind right. Friends, I am going back into essay writing mode. Too soon? Yeah, that's what I thought too. Then I looked at Booth's (under)estimated student budget and realized that scholarship money does not make the cost of a full-time MBA affordable, it simply makes it less unaffordable. Even though my tuition is taken care of I still need to pay for books ($2,100), random fees (~$2,400), health insurance (~$2,400), transportation (~$1,300), a place to live (~13,500), food to eat (~$5400), and personal expenses ($3,000). That is roughly $30,000 of expenses and I haven't even factored in the cost of moving to Chicago or a security deposit. Add in a Random Walk, the ski trip, and a trek or two and the price tag can rise to nearly $50,000. While I do have a good amount of money saved it's not enough to cover everything and I am not too keen on blowing away my savings anyways. The back of the envelope budgetary calculations have left me with the sobering reality that in spite of Booth's generous award I could end up with nearly $100,000 of debt. No bueno.